I don’t think anything raises my blood pressure as quickly or vastly as when I see Funcom tweet that the Secret World team is doing some piddly livestream or in-game promotion while failing to talk about the game’s actual future. Because, let’s face it, there isn’t one. Funcom has virtually abandoned The Secret World — not once, but TWICE — and is running its corpse into the ground without putting in any more effort or resources.
Remember how Funcom was talking a big game about how the revamped Legends would not only deliver a more compelling combat experience (ha… no) and help fund the further development? That was a massive pill for TSW vets to swallow, to restart and go through a huge amount of content just to be able to access new story.
Since Legends’ launch in summer 2017, Funcom rolled out most — but not all — of the previous content that it hauled over from The Secret World, reworked the scenario system, and tossed in a whopping one story update (South Africa). The South Africa update was spring of 2018, and since then we’ve had pretty much nothing.
In fact, let’s look over what Funcom’s done with this game in 2019 to date:
- It added a group mode to the Stonehenge occult defense mode in February. It also tried to sell a 12-month patron bundle that month.
- In March, Funcom announced a Secret World spin-off single player game named Moons of Madness for a future release.
- In April, there was a joke patch pushed out. Or was it.
- The anniversary event was dug up to run this summer with activities, parties, prizes, and a scavenger hunt.
- In June, Funcom also started selling a new epic cache key.
That’s it. That’s the whole year to date. That is not the picture of a game that is healthy, it’s a game that has been quietly unmoored from the docks and pushed out into a black ocean while the remaining community does what it can to keep itself occupied and cheered. It hasn’t stopped the quiet exodus of players who have seen the writing on the wall.
What really rustles my jimmies about all of this isn’t that Secret World may have turned unprofitable and not worth further development. That would be a tragedy, but it happens and it would be understandable. What upsets me is that Funcom has yet to address the failings of the Legends relaunch, has yet to really make good on all of its promises for the future of this game, and has shown that it is more than content to feed the delusion of the community that all is well and that there is hope.
Funcom leans hard on the community to run its own events and activities, because it’s far easier for that to happen and the studio to simply throw some promotion behind it than do anything new itself. It’s the appearance of staying busy without really doing anything significant.
But. Y’know. Thank heavens they got that epic cache key in the store. That was the important move right there.
The community isn’t completely oblivious, of course. That right there is what pops up on a simple Google search of the reddit, and it’s indicative of the wariness and despair that’s creeping into an MMO that hasn’t had its world change in any real way since a year and a half ago.
This is one of the most innovative MMOs and imaginative game worlds I’ve ever experienced, and it bothers me to no end that the studio running it is showing such a lack of responsibility and communication concerning it.
Funcom, you’ve failed Secret World. Twice. Shame on you.